Monday was an eventful day. I finally drove all the way to the other side of town to experience authentic Chinese delicacies. Now this would have never been done, if not for a blogger friend of mine who invited me to come along with him to Sheraton. He was invited as part of the Chef’s table and I was going to be his happy sidekick.
Feast, which is the all-day dining restaurant at the Sheraton Hotel, Bangalore was playing host to visiting Chinese Master Chef Thi Gang. Chef Thi Gang is from their award winning restaurant Li Bai at the Sheraton Saigon, Vietnam and was here to showcase the rich and diverse culinary heritage of China. Like India, China is vast country with unique regional cuisines and showcasing all of it can be a gargantuan task. So the Chef had handpicked some interesting dishes to help us savour a taste of China, if you will. The chef is a tiny man with a big smile and speaks very little English but his mastery was evident as we tasted the food. Anyway, we had Executive Chef Bela Rieck who was happy to indulge us with some fun conversation and cuisine facts.
According to the Chinese Zodiac this is the year of The Dragon, who is the deliverer of good fortune and authority. Now, why am I delving into the Chinese Zodiac? That’s because The Sheraton Bangalore has come up with a unique idea of customizing cocktails/ mocktails according to your sign. Now how cool is that?! My sign is the Rooster and apparently The Cosmopolitan was the drink of choice. Classy, showy and red! My companion got the French 7, a champagne based cocktail to complement the sign of the Pig. All I can say is ‘Lucky Pig’! Ask the staff for your special cocktail, apart from being a yummy way to start the evening; it will also make for interesting table conversations.
We decided to start with the Seafood and fish maw soup. We stood eagerly as the chef expertly turned out a wonton in front of us and then proceeded to add fresh seafood to the broth. There was calamari, fish, prawns and wait for it…scallops! Joy to the world. This was the first time I tasted a scallop and I must admit the texture and taste was lovely. The seafood soup had just the right amount of seasoning to whet the appetite.
There were three kinds of salads that day. A Spinach and Garlic salad, Green Papaya Salad and Lotus root Salad. If I had to pick one for new experiences I would go with the Lotus Root Salad, however I kept going back to the spinach salad for the burnt garlic bits. (You know I love my garlic!).
The restaurant has tried to keep a good balance of the vegetarian and non-vegetarian main courses. We don’t want our veggie brethren to feel cheated now do we? So for the veggies it was Seasonal Vegetables with Oyster Sauce and a Silken Tofu dish. I loved the former – the broccoli and bok choy were complemented by the oyster sauce. Now you’re thinking Oyster?? That’s not vegetarian! Let me clarify my friend… it’s a vegetarian sauce prepared to mimic the taste of Oyster sauce. How’s that for having you cake and eating it as well?
The Non-vegetarians as usual never need fear. We had a yummy Kung Pao Chicken. (Just the crunchy cashews make my stomach rumble) and there was a lovely Steamed Fish in a Bacon broth. (I forget the real name…) Knowing my love for bacon, of course I proceeded to pour the broth many times over my portion of fish. Bacon makes everything yummy! However, I must give credit to the way the fish was cooked. Succulent and soft but not mushy.
You could choose to have Fried Rice or Noodles to accompany your main course. Just take your pick of what you want tossed in it. I had to try the noodles just to see it being put together and tossed in the wok. It’s all about the drama! Chef had specially prepared a sauce and brought it all the way from home – so obviously I opted for that. And it din’t disappoint! Sweet, sour, spicy and salty , just like what Chinese cuisine tries to do – achieve Balance. However, me being Indian needed to rock the boat and asked for some extra scallops to be thrown in. It works when you smile really wide!
Feast being an all day dining restaurant has Indian as well as Western cuisine on offer apart from their Asian counters. But since I had decided to experience the Chinese Festival food, I firmly choose to look away from the other spread. It was extremely difficult seeing Roast Pork, Chorizo, Mussels etc etc. and turning my head away – but I told myself I have an iron will! Unfortunately that will crumbled when it was time for dessert. The Chinese dessert option (to put it mildly) was Sweetened Water Chestnut and White Fungus Soup. I know!!! I tried it to like it in all fairness, but I’ve grown up on sickly sweet Rosagullas and Mysore pak! I politely nodded my head in approval at the chef and darted away to the other dessert counters. Close call, Phew! I had a Teppanyaki Ice cream (they combine your choice of ice cream with all your chosen toppings and mish mash it around on a cold stone till you get a harmonious looking scoop). If nothing else, it’s super fun to watch him make it! Ofcourse I ate almost everything else on the dessert counter, but we’ll act like I was dignified and din’t J
The Chinese experience along with the rest of the spread costs Rs.1045/- for the lunch buffet and Rs. 1195/- for dinner. You can enjoy unlimited Beer along with your food at Rs.1595/-. The festival is on till the end of the week (14th Oct), so hurry if you want to catch some fun and authentic flavours.
FEAST, a world of flavours
SHERATON BANGALORE at Brigade Gateway
26/1 Dr.Rajkumar Road,
Bangalore – 560055.
Ph: +91 80 4252 1000
Parking: Valet Available
Price Point: Rs.650/- breakfast buffet, Rs.1045/- lunch buffet and Rs.1195/- dinner buffet. Excluding taxes and Service charge .